In a stunning development today, Danny Masterson’s criminal defense attorney Philip Cohen admitted in open court that the Church of Scientology’s reputation was so horrible that even the mere mention of the word “Scientology” at trial would hurt his client’s chance for a fair trial.
Philip Cohen publicly threw the Church of Scientology under the bus in a desperate last-minute bid to delay the start of Danny Masterson’s criminal trial next week on October 11.
Scientologist Danny Masterson attended court today. As a Scientologist, Danny Masterson knows damn well it is a high crime in Scientology to bring the Church Scientology into public disrepute. But what else could Masterson do? He had run out of options. Masterson spent millions of dollars in legal bills looking for every possible way to get the case against him dismissed. When these attempts failed and he was bound over for criminal trial, Masterson next used every possible means to delay his trial.
Masterson was successful in getting a series of delays but that came to an end. In his frantic effort to get yet one more delay, Scientologist Danny Masterson, a high stakes poker player, doubled down. He had his attorney openly confirm Scientology’s well-earned reputation for being the worst of the worst religious cults in the world. This was Masterson’s big bet: Scientology is so awful that his criminal trial must be delayed for a little while longer. We explain why he argued this way in the next section.
Scientology leader David Miscavige is surely apoplectic with rage over Scientology being publicly pilloried as a pariah by Philip Cohen and his client Danny Masterson in open court. Worse, the Church of Scientology is so inextricably entangled in the Danny Masterson criminal trial that Miscavige cannot do anything to brutally punish Danny Masterson as is Miscavige’s chronic and preferred method of handling those who transgress or oppose his imperious will.
The truth of the matter is that David Miscavige has no one but himself to blame. If Miscavige had long ago handled the Knowledge Reports accusing Danny Masterson of raping several women who were Scientologists then he would not be where he is at today. However, Miscavige refused to handle the matter because L. Ron Hubbard’s policy forbids Scientologists from reporting other Scientologists to the police.
Thus, David Miscavige and OSA engaged in a cover up of Masterson’s alleged rapes and intimidated and threatened Masterson’s victims. This is why Scientology and Danny Masterson find themselves headed into a very serious felony criminal trial.
Attorney Cohen’s justification for making his rather spectacular denunciation of Scientology arose as a result of the Los Angeles Mayoral race.
As we reported, Los Angeles Mayoral candidate and billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso has been airing campaign ads on local television of his opponent Congresswoman Karen Bass’ appearance at a 2010 Scientology event. At that event, Bass spoke alongside David Miscavige and now-disgraced LA Sheriff Lee Baca who has been a long-term Scientology ally and supporter. Caruso’s ads show snippets of Karen Bass’ appearance at the Scientology event and use these to call her judgment and abilities of discernment into question.
One of the screenshots below from the YouTube video used by Caruso’s campaign shows a smiling Karen Bass heaping lavish praise upon Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard. It is actually quite an embarrassment to watch. Caruso’s campaign has scored points by exposing Bass’ association with Scientology:
Caruso’s exposure of Bass’ appearance and speech at the 2010 Scientology’s event went viral. Rep. Bass of California’s 37th District tried to do damage control with a tweet in which she speaks of Scientology having been exposed in “books, interviews and documentaries.” However, Bass offered no particulars of what has been exposed about Scientology.
If anything, Bass’ tweet was a deflection in which she wants its both ways. Bass wants to say she respects the beliefs of others while vaguely stating that Scientology has been exposed. This vacuous equivocation on Bass’ part is meaningless and weak.
Rep. Bass would have done well to have had Leah Remini next to her at a press conference and to have made an unequivocal statement denouncing the human rights abuses of the Church of Scientology.
Realizing that she had undershot with her tweet, Bass amped it up.
As we further reported, Karen Bass publicly condemned Scientology on an unequivocal basis when her campaign released this statement:
Danny Masterson’s attorney Philip Cohen argued that having both Los Angeles Mayoral candidates simultaneously portraying Scientology as sinister cult prejudiced his client’s chances for a fair trial. As reported by Neil Blincow for the DailyMail.com:
…attorney Cohen continued his efforts to separate Masterson from the notoriety of Scientology, telling the court that any moves mayoral candidates Rep. Bass and Caruso make ‘to distance themselves from Scientology, give them a better chance of being elected mayor of Los Angeles.’
‘This is a really big problem for Mr. Masterson. There is a really negative view of Scientology and every time Scientology is mentioned, it becomes harder and harder for Mr. Masterson to have a fair trial.’
Telling the court that the general public’s view of Scientology is ‘more negative than any other religion’, Cohen added. ‘There is a significant chance of prejudice (in the jury) in bringing Scientology into this case.’
Cohen asked the judge to exclude even mentioning the word ‘Scientology’ during Masterson’s trial, arguing that it would be irrelevant, inflammatory, confusing to the jury and violate his client’s First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.
He said a jury could reach an ’emotional verdict based on Mr. Masterson’s association with Scientology.’
Attorney Cohen argued to Judge Charlaine Olmedo that Masterson’s criminal trial should be postponed until after the November 8th elections in Los Angeles. Judge Olmedo is expected to rule tomorrow on the Cohen’s request to delay the trial.
UPDATE: Judge Charlaine Olmedo denied Masterson’s request to postpone the trial. The trial is set to begin on October 11, 2022.
Tony Ortega posted these remarks in the comments section of The Underground Bunker today:
There was some interesting discussion in the afternoon session about Cohen’s argument that the word “Scientology” should be left out of the trial and replaced by something more neutral, like “the church,” or “the club” without identifying it for jurors.
He said (paraphrasing)… I think the first issue is there is some type of prejudice that attaches to Mr. Masterson for being associated in this case with Scientology… Gallup polls sought to get people’s take on it, Scientology won out as the most nefarious, notorious religion. Only added to that with info from this case which I think is incredibly illustrative and demonstrative – because it doesn’t come from defense. These are objective, unrelated independent people who happen to be mayoral candidates. I believe the more they can attach opposition to Scientology, and distance themselves from Scientology, the more prejudice there is… Every time the word is mentioned in this trial, it becomes harder and harder to get a fair trial on what he’s actually charged with — a simple case in terms of basically he said/she said.
Olmedo’s response, again paraphrasing: Putting aside the veracity of negative campaign ads, how is Scientology more inflammatory than, let’s say, evidence regarding gangs? Or white supremacy? Outlaw motorcycle gangs? Or evidence of serial killer, Richard Ramirez being a serial killer. Negative evidence comes in all the time – whether it’s organizational or individual – those things far more [negative] than Scientology. They’re not so inflammatory that excluded from court.
Judge Olmedo backed Cohen into a corner in which he would have to argue that, yes, Scientology is much worse than white supremacy, serial killers, and even drug cartel murders where people’s heads are decapitated.
Your move Mr. Cohen.
Philip Cohen’s “efforts to separate Masterson from the notoriety of Scientology” are doomed to fail at trial. Masterson has been a very visible and outspoken member of Scientology. For example, he appeared regularly at the Celebrity Centre’s annual Christmas gala with his fellow Scientology celebs:
In a 2015 profanity-strewn interview with PaperMag, Masterson made a series of statements about his religion and its founder L. Ron Hubbard.
May 2022 Update: PaperMag took down their interview with Danny Masterson. Papermag then deindexed the interview and even scrubbed it from the Wayback Machine. However, we saved a copy. Scroll down to see the PDF of the article.
In a 2015 interview he gave to PaperMag interview, Masterson’s crude statements offer insight into the crass, hostile, and shallow mind of this alleged serial rapist:
Q: So then what would you say is your personal relationship to L. Ron Hubbard?
A: He’s a fucking guy who wrote awesome shit that I love studying. That’s who he is…
Q: Another thing you hear is that Scientology and psychiatry are pitted against each other…
A: Yes. You will not find a Scientologist who does not fucking hate psychiatrists… (Psychiatrists) basically have this fuckin’ manual that has, what, 5,000 disorders in it, that you just bill your insurance company — “Oh, you have PMS disorder, you have caffeine-addict disorder, you have mathematics disorder; here, take Prozac” — what the fuck is that?… That’s the solution to depression, not fuckin’ Prozac and whatever other pill that makes the kid then walk into a goddamn school and kill other kids.
Masterson: …I work, I have a family and I’m a spiritual being who likes to understand why things happen in the world and want to learn more so that I can have them not affect me adversely. So if that’s weird, then, well, you can go fuck yourself.
Q: Sounds like you found your own connection with it (Scientology) in your teens.
A: Yep. Yeah, everybody does… there’s lots of people who’re like, “Oh yeah, here, check out this book, it might help your life,” and then all of the sudden they’re like, boom, “Oh my God, I need this, I need this fuckin’ all day long… so when I’m sitting there, studying about something, I’m oftentimes sitting next to guys from Nation of Islam and friends who are fully Jewish and other friends who are Catholic and Reverend Alfreddie Johnson, who’s a Baptist minister.
Danny Masterson will never be accused of being an intellectual. As for his studying the “awesome shit” L. Ron Hubbard wrote, it appears to have done Masterson no good whatsoever.PaperMag.Danny Masterson Tells Us About His Life in the Church of Scientology - PAPER